Friday, 13 May 2016

Servants Volunteer for Farm Work

Prebendal Farm, Bedford c.1910 [PU246/90]

Saturday 13th May 1916: The Chairman of the Bedfordshire War Agricultural Committee has received the following letter from Ellinor C. L. Close of 25, Montpelier Square, Knightsbridge, offering the services of three of her servants for farm work during the summer:
Dear Mr. Prothero 
Three of my women servants have volunteered to work on any farm on a well-managed estate from early in May until after the harvest. This seems to me a valuable precedent, as they are strong young country women, one is accustomed to milking cows, the others will learn to milk, if required, and all are willing to do any part of outdoor work. Not being as yet really skilled farm workers they will not at present deserve such high wages as experienced village women earn. 
Should my servants find employment I propose to live in a hut, caravan, or inn, upon or near the farm, so as to be at hand if required. 
Many of my friends in the same position as I am are waiting to see if I succeed, as if so, they hope to send out some of their people as well. We shall of course pay their regular wages throughout, as now. 
I write with the knowledge of the Women’s National Land Service Corps, who are very anxious for the success of this little scheme.
 Source: Luton News, 18th May 1916

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